Angelica Kauffman – Swiss 1741-1807

Angelica Kauffman Self Portrait
Self Portrait
The daughter of Johann Joseph Kauffmann, a painter, Angelica was a precocious child and a talented musician and painter by her 12th year. Her early paintings were influenced by the French Rococo works of Henri Gravelot and François Boucher. In 1754 and 1763 she visited Italy, and while in Rome she was influenced by the Neoclassicism of Anton Raphael Mengs.

She was induced by Lady Wentworth, wife of the English ambassador, to accompany her to London in 1766. She was well received and was particularly favoured by the royal family. Sir Joshua Reynolds became a close friend, and most of the numerous portraits and self-portraits done in her English period were influenced by his style of portrait painting. Her name is found among the signatories to the petition for the establishment of the Royal Academy, and in its first catalogue of 1769 she is listed as a member. She was one of only two women founding members. During the 1770s Kauffmann was one of a team of artists who supplied the painted decorations for Adam-designed interiors (e.g., the house at 20 Portman Square, London, which was home to the Courtauld Institute Galleries for more than 60 years). Kauffmann retired to Rome in the early 1780s with her second husband, the Venetian painter Antonio Zucchi.

Kauffmann’s pastoral and mythological compositions portray gods and goddesses. Her paintings are Rococo in tone and approach, though her figures are given Neoclassical poses and draperies. Kauffmann’s portraits of female sitters are among her finest works.

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Angelica Kauffman: Drawings & Paintings by aya Yotova (Foreword) – Paperback: 82 pages; Independently published (Mar 17, 2019)

Kauffman herself identified herself as an artist of historical themes, an unusual field for an 18th-century female artist. The historical painting was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this period. The Royal Academy has made serious efforts to promote Kauffman to a local audience as a historical subject artist, but the local audience was more interested in ordering and purchasing her portraits and landscapes. Despite Kaufman's popularity in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy of the British to history.

She eventually left Britain and went to the continent where the historical painting was better established, respected and patronized.Historical painting, according to the academic art theory, was classified as the highest category. It required extensive knowledge of history, mythology, literature, and chronicle. It also needed an in-depth understanding of art theory and practical training, including studying the anatomy of the male nude. Most women were refused access to such training, especially the ability to draw naked models; however, Kauffman managed to cross the gender red line to acquire the necessary skills to build a reputation as a successful artist of historical painting.

Angelica Kauffman in British Collections – Paperback: 48 pages; Rafael Valls Limited (2007)

Angelica Kauffmann: A Woman of Immense Talent by Tobias Natter – Hardcover: 272 pages; Hatje Cantz (Sep 1, 2007)

Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807) was a star. A portrait painter, history painter, printmaker and designer known in her lifetime as one of the wealthiest bourgeois women of her era, she was called "perhaps the most cultivated woman in Europe," by the German philosopher J. G. Herder. History painting might have been the way to prestige, but it was Kauffmann's portraits that opened avenues to an international aristocratic and intellectual social world.

This volume gathers approximately 150 works, and is the first publication to rigorously connect them to her personal history and to London and Rome, where she lived. Kauffmann settled permanently in Rome in 1782, and made her home a welcome meeting place for artists and writers. Goethe, a regular, called her a "woman of immense talent," and his assessment is borne out, more than 200 years later, by this study of her work.

Angelica Kauffman: A Continental Artist in Georgian England by Wendy Wassyng Roworth – Paperback: 216 pages; Reaktion Books; 1st edition (Jan 1, 1993)

Catalogue to 1993 exhibition, with list of works insert from York City Art Gallery. Good number of colour plates with four essays on aspects of Kauffman's work.

Angelica Kauffman by Bettina Baumgärtel – Hardcover: 208 pages; Hirmer Publishers (Jul 15, 2020)

This publication explores the larger-than-life story of Kauffman myth, which arose even while she was still working. Her remarkable life and work are presented here through beautiful reproductions of more than one hundred of her best paintings and drawings, including many never before seen. The book pays particular attention to Kauffman’s impact in England, where she was the first female member of the Royal Academy of Arts. Angelica Kauffman stakes a claim for the artist as a pioneering history painter, fashionable portraitist, and champion of a new ideal of masculinity.

Miss Angel: The Art and World of Angelica Kauffman by Angelica Goodden – Hardcover: 384 pages; Random House UK; 1st edition (Sep 1, 2005)

One of the most successful women artists in history, Angelica Kauffman became the toast of Georgian England, captivating society with her portraits, mythological scenes, and decorative compositions. She knew and painted poets, novelists and playwrights, collaborating with them and illustrating their work; her designs adorned the houses of the Grand Tourists she had met in Italy; actors, statesmen, philosophers, kings and queen sat to her; and she was the force that launched a thousand engravings.

Angelica Kauffman: Art and Sensibility by Angela Rosenthal – Hardcover: 352 pages; Yale University Press (May 31, 2006)

Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807) established her reputation with sensitive portraits as well as ambitious history paintings. This major new study explores the artist's work and career by considering how Kauffman reconciled the public and presumed masculine pursuit of painting with her role as woman artist and arbiter of private taste.

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